Never say never! I did that - said the "only thing I would never do is teach piano". I didn't want to be like the teachers that I had in my youth - who limited me to classical music which taught me a lot, but also kept me from exploring more creative aspects of my musical instincts. Here we are, more than 25 years later; I am still in the Conejo Valley teaching kids and adults of all ages and most levels how to be more confident in their understanding of the language of music (theory), how to play with expression (even from the first few lessons) and how to know what to do technically to be able to play classical, pop, jazz, new age - you name it. Each style teaches skills. I can help.
Knowing music theory and having extensive experience as a professional pianist/accompanist and vocalist has brought me a career rich in diversity. If you would like to know more about what I do besides teach piano, check out my LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-wall-urgero-0a96842/. You can also read my bio and hear recordings at lisawallurgero.com.
I look forward to talking to you about your goals!
BA Music (vocal and piano performance)
Member of MTAC since 1989
Every student has different needs and goals. With children, I find it most satisfying to learn what each one's learning style is and create an ongoing program for them. Kids are easy! They love learning and do so daily. Adults are a different story! They have hard-wired habits and specific goals; I love to dispel myths (stories they have told themselves) about their limitations and help them discover more levels of expression than they thought they were capable of.
I had wanted to play piano all my life and decided to take lessons as an adult. Lisa has been an extraordinary teacher for me, so much so, that I also signed up my son. She is very thorough, covering both theory and technique beautifully. It is her passion for music that brings out the best in her students. Her attention to detail, knowledge of music, and boundless energy have kept me returning again and again! She makes piano fun!
Expert musician, patient, joyful, problem solver.
I loved learning from Lisa. She is talented and a great teacher! I would highly recommend her!
She is patient, kind, playful, and expects the best from her students. She understands children and is an amazing teacher.
You'll get an email greeting from me with my studio policy attached. If it looks agreeable, we can arrange a 30-minute interview at my home studio. You get to see what the environment is like, get to know me, I get to know you, (and parents are invited of course, if the student is under 18). We discuss your goals and expectations and mine - if we agree that it's a fit and there is a mutually workable regular lesson time, we can get started! Students study on a weekly basis and pay monthly. A few adult students who travel are on a rotating fee schedule. Lessons are 45 or 60 minutes, based on need and availability.
16 years of private piano
BA in Music (piano and vocal performance)
Countless workshops and other miscellaneous classes
Fees for monthly students are $195 per month for 45-minute lessons (about $49/lesson), $250 per month for 60-minute lessons (about $62/lesson). In essence, my rate is around $65/hour; the going rate at the local music store is $70/hour. You are getting an experienced, knowledgable teacher for a better rate!
After obtaining my music degree, I took on a full time teaching position in a Christian day school as a music specialist. Parents began approaching me for after school piano lessons. After a few months I was hooked! It wasn't long after that I had to decide if I wanted to build a curriculum for the school or develop my rapidly-growing piano studio. I opted for the latter and never looked back.
My typical piano student doesn't tend to be one headed for the International Chopin Piano Competition - while I do include both some classical methods and classical music in my teaching style, I am not strictly classical. My students have been beginning through early advanced pianists, singers who wanted to be able to accompany themselves, band musicians who wanted to develop their music theory and treble or bass clef skills, adults who quit at one point and wanted to come back and fulfill a childhood dream, and so on. I have had a few students who were on the autism spectrum and some who were so creative-minded, I had to throw all my usual tricks out the window!
My favorite type of student is one who shares my passion for music and the piano and who is willing to put in the time.
In December of 2016, life events made the Wall-Urgero Holiday Recital impossible to coordinate. So instead of having the usual formal piano recital, we had a holiday party in the home studio and entertained the famiilies with the holiday songs we had prepared. It was not only more relaxed than the usual recital, it was great fun! We all stayed around and had goodies afterward, playing and singing carols together. And...we decided to do it again in 2017.
When you call a piano teacher, know what you want (maybe your top 2 or 3 qualities) and what you don't want - but try to keep an open mind, too. Each teacher is unique and may have gifts you couldn't even imagine! No matter what teacher you choose, expect to spend time with your instrument, if not every day, at least several days a week. This could be fewer days for longer periods of time as an adult; kids need shorter practice times more often. Oh, and make sure you HAVE a viable instrument before calling!
Am I willing to commit to regular, if not daily, practice? Can I realistically meet at the same time each week without frequent cancellations? Am I willing to try what the teacher proposes or do I have a very specific vision for what I want/need from a piano teacher (like someone who specializes in jazz improv or songwriting, for example)?